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uplease with THG making socket-5 upgrade article

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Anonymous
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February 15, 2001 12:55:31 PM

I am extremely dissapointed with the socket-5 article because of a few reasons not addressed by THG

1)Windows of any kind requires a minimum of 40MB to run after booting up, this is with all options in startup disabled.

2)With usual options ON, the boot up requirements of memory goes up as high as 70MB, especially with lots of startup items etc.

With this in mind, 48MB have no chance of using Windows of any kind properly. Not to mention you need extra memory to run applications like word or excel.

I could close 1 eye about the CPU speed, even don't mind using one that is says 133Mhz, but its got to have sufficient memory.

Sufficient memory = windows in 40MB to 70MB + whatever MB you need to run your application. A minimum of 96MB or 128MB is good.

If Bill Gates was asked

"Why did you specify minimum memory requirment for Win95 as only 16MB when it should be 96MB or 128MB?"

Bill Gates would not have been a billionaire now.

Imagine if the world was told the "hiding" truth, many of us or big corporate might not have bought Windows95 at all.

The experience using Windows95 would have been so much pleasureable if every one had 128MB, things would run so much faster, smoother etc.

The HDD would not crunch forever asking for virtual memory etc.

Well I will end here, I hope THG would not produce such article again without addressing the full issue. This is the first article since the start of THG which I consider extremely lack of detail.


Best regards
cx5
February 15, 2001 1:12:57 PM

haven't read the article yet, but regarding Windoze memory requirements, it was running fine on my sister's 16MB Cyrix 586 100Mhz for 4 years... it wasn't exactly a dream machine, but it ran -- High-speed internet, ICQ, MS Word, some image editing, some gaming, pretty much everything...

my Aptiva k6-233 ran very smoothly with 32MB and ran perfectly once I upgraded it to Win98SE and 64MB RAM... so you don't really have to have 128MB RAM...

granted my newest 1.1Gig athlon with 256MB CAS2 RAM smokes them both to PIECES:) )))), but the 70MB minimum requirement is a bit off-base here. Maybe your installation needs that much and mine doesn't, in which case neither of us can make a categorical statement based on personal experiences...

btw, this is by far not the first THG article with lack of detail -- remember the "complete" guide to building computers for novices, which didn't even tell how to put a HSF on properly? Or the seriously surreal comparison of "simulated systems" (where he builds his own versions and thinks they represent the real brand-name systems out there)? just to list very recent examples...
February 15, 2001 1:21:06 PM

I agree. The article has shown me that those old pieces of junk that customers bring in <i>can</i> actually be upgraded. :smile:

-----------------
Satan Clara...... 'Nuff said.
Related resources
February 15, 2001 2:29:17 PM

He's not saying you can make it perform like today's machines, but you can squeeze another year or two out of it. For $100 you can improve the performance by 150% or more. I was unaware of the existance of a Socket5 adapter, and I just happen to have a spare K6-2 350 lying on my desk I think I'll pop into my old Cyrix 166+ motherboard. Its already got 64MB RAM. For the cost of that one adapter I can start using that machine again. I can't play Q3A on it, but I can slap a small FreeBSD install on there and do some file serving and domain name caching. So I found the article very helpful, and not so basic and low level as to make it uninteresting to an experienced user such as myself.

/Athlon-1.2GHz@1266MHz(133MHz*9.5)/Asus_A7V133/
February 15, 2001 7:33:13 PM

I'm not sure what you were smoking when you came up with those Windows memory requirements. Where can I get some of that?

I had absolutely no problems running Win95 on a Pentium1-133Mhz system with only 16megs of RAM. Sure, at times it'd use virtual memory, but it still worked and worked just fine at that.

I think Windows 2000 is the only real memory eating monster. But then now a days it's hard to find a computer with anything less than 64MB anyway.

What I found funny in the THG article though was that the memory upgrade was so puny. I mean my old P1-133 system got upgraded to 128MB one year just because I was bored and memory was cheap. I even gave away my two old 8MB SIMMS after the upgrade because no one even wanted something so small.

So while I think you're crazy for even suggesting that Windows takes such large amounts of memory to use, I can agree with you that THG was crazy for doing such a small memory upgrade to that old system.

Really though, if you want to upgrade an old system like that with a NOTICABLE performance improvement, just get a new motherboard (preferably not a VIA chipset), a cheap processor (preferably a Duron or Celeron), a cheap 64MB DIMM (preferably at least PC100), and a new power supply. Even if you're using on-board video and sound, a system upgrade like that is going to kick the crap out of any Socket 5 upgrade. Sure, it'll cost you maybe $250 instead of $100, but it'll be well worth it AND it'll be highly upgradable instead of being at the end of it's upgradability.

I mean really, if you upgrade your Socket 5 mobo, you're at the end of the line for upgrades. Good luck even finding a decent PCI video card. (I know. I tried. That's why I just completely replaced my P1-133 system instead of upgrade it yet again.)

But if you replace the mobo, you've got tons of new options to slip in later. If you got an i815 mobo you can replace that Celeron later with a P3 1GHz when you have the money. If you went AMD you can replace that Duron with a 1.2GHz T-Bird. That's a heck of a lot better room for upgrade. AND you get AGP video. So your games will appreciate that a WHOLE lot more. :) 

I found it very disturbing that THG didn't really address this at all. Nor did they even compare systems upgraded by both routes. They made it sound like using this Socket5 converter and a faster CPU is nifty and great. And sure, compared to a 133MHz Pentium it is. But compared to what you could have with just a little more money and a minute amount of extra work it's crap.

That's my two cents.

Frankly, THG has been a massive let down lately. It's just one bad article after another. I used to really like THG. What happened?

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
February 15, 2001 7:39:35 PM

Hmm... for some reason I can run Win95 on a old 486-66 with 8MB RAM! (i think, maybe 16?)

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Satan Clara...... 'Nuff said.
February 15, 2001 7:48:49 PM

I agree man, I dont know what crack that guy is smoking but it is obviously some really good [-peep-] that needs to be shared. I ran win95 on a old Packard Bell(it was free) 50 Mhz 486 DX with 12 megs of ran. It ran just fine, quick, and reliable. Its a matter of slim lining the install. Requiring 40megs of memory? I dont think my win95 install was much over 40 megs, it only had a 420meg drive!
Anonymous
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February 15, 2001 7:55:00 PM

Since when has every or any version of Windows been stable or even good.. With every new release they just change the graphics around from the previous one and Viola!!! You have a new operating system costing you another $100.

Microsoft: We not only make Windows hacking possible, we make it easier!
Anonymous
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February 15, 2001 10:43:23 PM

I don't even know why I bother replying, some people just never do their homework before saying anything.

Lazy I suppose? didn't know I suppose? couldn't care less I suppose?

But I care!

For those of you using Win2K, you can check this by

opening the task manager, see under processes the actual list of files being used just to maintain a working windows operating system environment. Last count before opening this notepad had 20 proceses using a total of 40.752MB

Then you go to performance where if you have 128MB, it will say 130524K free, where 548K used for BASE memory

then available around 65MB and so on.

So it teles where 128 - 40 = 88 and you wonder where is the other 23MB, well look in System Information-Loaded Modules and there are 224 files using 34.19743MB

now you ask where the hell did the -11MB comes from, well thats in virtual memory now.

If you don't believe me you can try it with excel, in System Information-loaded modules there is a button on-top called action and in it there is a thing call save as text file, so you do that.

Then use excel to open it and make sure to 'delimited" tabs and spaces etc and then perform the simple sum(.....) and you will see how much ram is being needed when windows boot.


Then I went into control panel, system, advance, reduce paging size to 2MB and reboot.

task manager said free memory 65MB, system information loaded module says used 32MB, task manager proceses 18 used 30Mb

so I think the maths proves it 128 - 65MB = 63MB = 32 + 30


So many people doesn't reliase how memory hungry windows really are, thats why Bill gates is so rich! simply because people didn't care to find out. :( 

so the people using ME you can also check the system information but to see whats actually on RAM then I don't know, need 3rd party utility.

I hope some one may benefit from this information.

Best regards
cx5
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February 16, 2001 1:41:24 AM

Yes, but you said ANY version of Windows. I remember my Zenith 386 with 4MB RAM ran Windows 3.1. I upgraded it to 8MB and WOW, what a difference. Then when I swaped out the 110MB Hard drive for a 256MB unit, I actually had room for Win95! It ran too slow on the 386, wo I got a scrapped 486 with motherboard, processor, and case for $3 and swithced everything over. Now Windows 95 ran GREAT with 8MB unless I used IE3, the pictures on some websites would use up hwat was left of my ram and my hard drive would thrash. So I steped up to 12MB of ram and that solved it. I sell refurbished computers right now with 24MB of ram.

Suicide is painless...........
Anonymous
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February 16, 2001 3:12:54 AM

Simmer down cowboy ! That old computer WILL run Window 98. New operating systems are optimized to perform with newer hardware. What do you expect ?

It runs, doesn't it ? So spend $400 and upgrade your box if you want it to go faster. Get with it or deal, but don't whine about your old computer and blame a new operating system.

Could be worse,, you could own a mac !
Anonymous
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February 16, 2001 6:49:50 AM

What happened is that the only person that could write at THG, Van Smith, is no longer with him. Also, I think Tom is so into himself that he thinks anything he passes off as an article is good. Maybe being bought out by ZDNET has dumbed him down. Who knows why but THG isn't very good anymore.
February 16, 2001 12:15:55 PM

You DARE call ME lazy?
You're the one who doesn't even read my post thoroughly before replying with the same idiocy that you used in your first post.

I specifically sad, "I think Windows 2000 is the only real memory eating monster. But then now a days it's hard to find a computer with anything less than 64MB anyway.".

We ALL know that Win2k is a memory monster. It's true. But it's also the ONLY Windows OS that eats up memory like it was candy.

In your first post you specifically denied all specification on which Windows OS you were referring to. And I proceeded to explain just how stupid you are because Win95 and Win98 work just fine with a LOT less memory than Win2k needs.

I'm not sure how much of a memory eater NT4 is because I upgraded my work system from NT4 to Win2K in a relatively short time, so I just don't recall if it was good or bad with memory.

In any event, I've used Win 2.x, Win 3.x, Win95, Win95B, Win98, Win98SE, NT4, and Win2K. (I won't even go into that I've been using DOS since MS DOS 2.11.) And running all of those versions of Windows, Win2k is the ONLY version that I've ever seen eat up so much memory. Frankly, Win2k has a lot of worthless eye candy and other crap that I've quickly disabled and/or would be happier without. But it also has a lot more stability, security, and networking capabilities than any other Windows OS. And it's about 95% backwards compatible with other versions of Windows. So I have less problems with using it than I would with using something else.

I just wish Microsoft would stop giving us stupid 'enhancements' that most people would be happier without and just spend their time making the OS even more solid and optimized for speed and memory usage before they release it.

I could give MS the excuse that any modern system should have a bare minimum of 64megs of RAM, if not 96megs.

I could also give MS the excuse that Win2k is for professional use, so any system it's installed on SHOULD have at least 256megs of RAM anyway. I mean the average home user would use Win98 anyway. And that doesn't need nearly as much memory to run properly.

But basically fcchin, my point is that you're an idiot and deserve to be told so. :-p

Just because you don't like Microsoft doesn't mean you have to stop using your brain. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons for not liking them. So fcchin, try using your brain for a change. Try saying something at least closely approximating a semblance of the beginning of intelligence if you want any of us here to think you're anything other than a whining ignorant fool who has no clue of what you speak.

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
February 16, 2001 12:49:28 PM

"Since when has every or any version of Windows been stable or even good."

Two that I know of. Windows for Workgroups (based on Windows 3.11) and Windows 2000. I've yet to see either of them act unstable. (Except for when the VIA mobos corrupt system memory allocated to an AGP video card and cause Win2k to crash. But that's a hardware issue, not a Windows bug.) Win98SE is also a good one, but does occasionally blue-screen.

Since you could write a program that would crash ANY OS, I don't count any instabilities from poorly written software to count against an OS. So things like bad versions of Internet Explorer don't count.

"With every new release they just change the graphics around from the previous one"

This shows how little you know about the Windows operating systems.

Windows 95 was the first 32 bit Windows OS. That was a MASSIVE change from Windows 3.x.

Windows 95B fixed a lot of bugs in Windows95. Personally, I think it should have just been a free patch, not a new OS release. That is one of the reasons MS sucks. Their first version of an OS is usually a beta version and you have to wait for the second release of it before it's really stable.

Win98 integrated Internet Explorer thoroughly into the OS. This massively changed how a lot of the OS worked. Most appearances remained the same, however even that was noticably changed by the fact that you now could view html code (and jpg and gif files) from your desktop instead of just bitmap images. Personally, I'm not sure how much of an actual improvement this was over Win95, but it was at least quite noticably different. And there's also the upgrade from FAT16 to FAT32 which allows for large hard drives that don't waste tons of your HD space because of bad allocation methods. (Though I seem to remember that FAT32 may have been introduced in Win95B. I can't remember exactly if that's true or not though.)

Win98SE fixed a lot of bugs in Win98. Most of the bugs related to instabilities with the integration of the Internet Explorer into the OS. Win98SE is a pretty good OS. And again I think this should have been a free patch, not a new release.

Win98ME (I believe this is what it's called.) This is quite possibly the ONLY Windows release that has no real improvements over a previous version. All that I know of that really changed in this release was better multi-media software bundled with the OS. Frankly, I don't know of a single reason a Win98SE user should upgrade to this.

Windows NT4 was a furthering of the NT3 OS to give it a Win95-ish appearance. NT has always held numerous networking and security advances over the other Windows OSs, so I won't bother going in to explain the tons of improvements there in detail. It's just enough to know that there are TONS of networking and security enhancements over the other Windows OSs in the Windows NTs.

Windows 2000 (originally Windows NT5 but renamed in hopes of attracting home system customers and to seperate it from the numerous beta problems with early NT5) is a massively improved OS. It includes yet more networking enhancements and security enhancements (as would be expected from any next-gen NT). It also includes a LOT of code to stabilize the OS and reduce how often you have to actually reboot the OS when you make changes to it's settings. This makes it a LOT more enjoyable to use. :)  Also MS re-arranged a lot of the layout of settings menus. I would assume that was to prevent idiotic users from screwing up their settings badly. There are also a million (possibly litteral) other changes/enhancements to the user interface. This includes things like the fading in and out of menus, hiding less often used Start Menu items, etc., etc., and so forth.

I can't speak for any other Windows operating systems, but as for the ones listed above, ALL of them except for WIn98ME were serious improvements over previous Windows OSs. They included not just visual changes, but stability improvements and changes to the way the entire OS 'engine' itself ran. Some of them were mostly just bug fixes, but even that is a serious improvement over a previous version.

So theifus, your statement of, "With every new release they just change the graphics around from the previous one", only proves just how little you actually know.

As for your statement of, "Microsoft: We not only make Windows hacking possible, we make it easier!", I would like you to tell me of even one single OS that ISN'T in any way hackable when connected to any form of a network.

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
February 16, 2001 1:04:10 PM

I don't know if it has anything to do with ZDNET. I mean there were a lot of good articles even after that.

But the articles in the last three months have been becoming more and more of a letdown, increasing with each day that passes. A lot of it is even just taking a stupid point-of-view when an article is written.

I mean comparing a ThumbDrive to a PokeyDrive ... what the heck?! They're two entirely different things. So instead of writing the article as though it was one pitted against the other to see which is better, it should just have been written to say here are two portable storage devices and what their performance is like. To compare them against each other was just plain stupid. And they should have shown us what it takes to replace a PokeyDrive hard drive with a decent one, like they did with the Nomad portable MP3 player.

And to give a suggestion on upgrading your system with a Socket5 converter, a faster chip, and a memory upgrade and NOT compare that to buying a bare-bones system and putting your old IDE and PCI devices into it and hooking it up to your old I/O devices is just crazy. I'd slap myself silly if I suggested to ANYONE to do what THG suggested and not what I just suggested. It leaves you with crappy performance compared to any modern system AND absolutely no room for future upgrades. Where as what I suggest leaves you with at least a comparable performance and with a lot more room for future upgrades.

And WHAT was up with that dual CPU motherboard comparison article? GEEZE! I don't think I've ever seen a worse article EVER.

THG used to have decent articles to read. Now it's just become a place to visit when you need a good laugh.

The only reason I keep visiting is for the Community and for the benchmarks.

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
Anonymous
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February 16, 2001 6:22:04 PM

In addition to your post I would like to add that NT was the first truely multitasking windows OS, quite a large improvement. Also NT 4.0 is the most solid version of windows i have ever used (win2k isn't bad by any means though) and think that it is a great os. it's only draw back is it's not meant for gamer's.
February 16, 2001 6:31:39 PM

Thanks for adding that. I can't believe that I actually left that out! **L** I must be losing my mind. Yeah, NT and Win2k both support multiple processors. This is something that even Win98 won't do.

And I think Win2k doesn't crash or blue screen nearly as often (if ever) as NT4 does. Not that NT4 does this often at all, but Win2k does it even less.

And why do you say Win2k isn't for gamers? I don't see any reason why it should be any different than NT4 for gaming. In fact, the ONLY flaw I could find would be that it's driver support wouldn't be as good as Win98's. So there just might be some old hardware made by a company who no longer supports it that'll never have Win2k drivers.

That has nothing to do with gaming though.

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
Anonymous
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February 16, 2001 7:18:07 PM

i was think more of nt 4.0 as not for gamers because of the lack of directx support, but win2000 seems to work pretty well. i remember a lot of games i couldn't play on nt, but the number went way down with 2000.
February 16, 2001 7:40:14 PM

Okay. I didn't think Win2k was all that incompatible. NT4 I can understand because it was almost litterally competing against Win9x. But Win2k was supposed to be Microsoft's 'merging' of both NT and 9x, and adding several new things in to boot. So I would have been surprised to hear that there were a lot of games that wouldn't run on Win2k.

I still prefer 98 for home use because I simply don't need things like dual processor support, improved security, or greatly improved networking APIs.

But I do at work. And there Win2k is the best OS I've ever used. (And I also run Redhat Linux at work by the way, in case anyone thinks I'm unfairly biased.)

- Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
February 16, 2001 7:56:52 PM

Ahh now you're talking about Win2K? That's more like it. At first you said "Windows of any kind," which would implicate even Win3.1 and Win95.

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Satan Clara...... 'Nuff said.
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 5:23:02 AM

I'm not saying that this is a good running system, in fact I think these systems are a JOKE, but the Emachine computers out there are running 32megs of ram and ME. Of course they have onboard video that robs another 4 megs of ram to leave a whopping total of 28 MEGS OF RAM to run Win ME! You would think this is suicide, but you would be amazed at how decent(as decent as ME is) this thing runs ME on this little amount of ram. Its crazy to buy an Emachine, its even crazier to run ME on 28 megs of ram(with at least 5-6programs in startup menu right out of the box)and watch it not crash any more than some other brand new computers. Of course this sort of thing just proves again that you never know how a Microsoft product is gonna run(except maybe NT, 2000) on any system.
I would like to hear your(fcchin) thoughts on how this is possible!?
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 10:17:51 AM

Grizley1

this is especially for you

I did mean to include 95 as well, if you check now or in the past it takes as much RAM as current Win2K, no different from 98, ME, NT.

However I am wrong about 3.1 of those sort and stand corrected.

Best regards
cx5
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 10:23:35 AM

I don't know about 256MB this or that, I only know one thing.

If you perform intensive engineering calculations say "Finite Element Anlysis" in 3 Dimensions model with around 50,000 elements and 300,000 degrees or freedom etc.

Where you originally wants to calculate the harmonic response from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, you'll find it is impossible for the computer to work at all, why?

Just calculating first 10Hz from 20Hz to 30Hz took 1_hour 45_minutes and produce a result file of 500MB in size, to be further decoded etc.

The system I am using (sad to say) is

Duron 900
128MB
bla bla bla

Now even with
Athlon 1200/133
1536MB

or

Dual P3-1100
1536MB

it won't be enough, why? because if any of you study Digital Singal Processor you will know to at least to multiply whatever your source of data output file by 5 times or more as the required RAM. 5 times in minimum from whay my lecturer told me in lectures.

Since my output file is 500MB, I will need at least 2.5GB for quick all RAM only calculations and hopes it won't use virtual memory.

Or else why does big companies R&D team, like NASA have to have special computers? 64bit processor or more, parallel CPU of 10 or more, 3GB or more of RAM etc ? ? ?


Actually what you said is correct, depending on what you do then you can specify required RAM, or else there's no point.

Best regards
cx5
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 10:24:29 AM

coolcpu

I am delighted with the way you express your thoughts and will reply with great care.

First of all eveyrthing you said is correct apart from ME not crashing with 28MB, well we should all know that lack of RAM is not the reason for an OS to crash.

They after all have huge amount of virtual memory to play with 2GB! It only slows it down which is that I am trying to stress in the begining.

Not that 95,98,ME can't work, but can't show it's true strength. Get it all now? Boged down by the HDD performance.

Saying this if HDDs are as fast as RAM of any kind say PC2100 or PC800 whatever you prefer, I would not complain a single word, because there is no performance drop, theoretically anyway.

If you take the time to reinstall 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2K and check you'll find that all of them share the following same features

minimum required around RAM 40MB
nomial required around RAM 60MB

dependent upon what other software you have and how many of them are in startup menu it could go as high as 80MB.

try having

virus scan, ICQ, power strip, Real, Quick, Iomega, Netware, scanner, 3rd party multilingual, AOL

and those will help you shoot to 80MB no problems.

Best regards
cx5
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 12:46:22 PM

Well actually i was trying to keep my statement simple, but if you want I can go so indepth that even you'll be confused and shocked..

Microsoft: We not only make Windows hacking possible, we make it easier!
Anonymous
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February 17, 2001 4:49:31 PM

I have running a word processing machine with a 486 SX 25mhz 8mb RAM -> Win95 works, but only very slight multitasking

My Pentium 200 MMX is running now Win98SE with 64mb of EDO RAM overclocked at 225mhz, some virtual memory swapping, it is not dead slow at all, nearly no crashes.

I have also ran it with Win98,first without overclocking and 32mb of ram, some memory swapping, with 64mb of ram worked just like Win98SE, and no difference when overclocked. For me Win98 is more stable than Win98SE.

Win95 OSR2, 32mb of ram, no overclocking -> ¿stable? - most time, but some BSOD once in a while, more memory swapping than with Win98 (better memory management)

Win2k Pro, 64mb of ram, overclocking -> the more stable os ever installed in my computer, more memory swapping than with Win98, multitasking all right

Win2k server, same config as above -> too slow for multitasking properly

Windows Whistler 2416, same config -> too slow for anything, crashes

Windows ME, same config -> slower than Win98, multitasking all right, screwed up when using Media Player 7

SEARCH FIRST, THEN POST
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